Annual Water Quality Report

Presented by: Avra Water Co-op, Inc.
PWS ID# 10-006
Water Testing Performed in 2015

Spanish (Española)

Este informe contiene informacion muy importante sobre la calidad de su agua potable. Por favor lea este informe o comuniquese con alguien que pueda traducir la informacion.

We are pleased to present this year’s Annual Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report) as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). This report is designed to provide details about where your water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to standards set by regulatory agencies. This report is a snapshot of last year’s water quality. We are committed to providing you with information because informed customers are our best allies.

Where Does My Water Come From?

Avra Water obtains water from the Avra Valley aquifer. The Avra Valley aquifer begins as the Altar Valley aquifer located on the Arizona/Mexico border. The Altar Valley Wash watershed flows north into the Avra Valley and the Brawly Wash watershed around the Three Points area. Our aquifer was created primarily from mountain runoff and storm water infiltrating beneath the ground along the Avra and Altar Valleys. The Avra Water Co-op pumps water from the Avra Valley aquifer with deep wells. All of our wells are located within our water service area

Do I Need to Take Special Precautions?

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

How Can I Get Involved?

You are invited to participate in our regularly scheduled, monthly Board of Directors meetings. The meetings are scheduled at 7:00 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Co-op. The Annual Meeting is held on the third Wednesday of every November at the Picture Rocks Intermediate School. All of our members are encouraged to attend.

Source Water Assessment and Its Availability

Source Water Assessments are on file with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and are available for public review. You may obtain a copy of the assessment by contacting the ADEQ at (602)771-4641 or visit them on-line at The Source Water Assessment Report provides a screening-level evaluation of potential contamination that could occur. It does not mean that the contamination has or will occur. We can use this information to evaluate the need to improve our current water treatment capabilities and prepare for future contamination threats. This can help us ensure that quality finished water is delivered to your homes. In addition, the source water assessment results provide a starting point for developing a source water protection plan.

Why Are There Contaminants in My Drinking Water?

The sources of drinking water, both bottled and tap, include lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it will pick up various minerals and contaminants. Most of the contaminants are harmless, and their presence does not necessarily indicate the water poses a health risk. More information can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791. Here is a general list of types of contaminants.

  • Minerals – as water moves through the ground, some minerals (such as calcium) will dissolve into the water. Some of the minerals that dissolve can be radioactive.
  • Microbes and Viruses – these may contaminate water as a result of human or animal activity, including leaking septic systems.
  • Salts and Metals – these may contaminate water through a variety of processes, including mining, farming, sewage and storm water runoff, wastewater discharge, oil and gas production, or can simply be naturally occurring.
  • Organic Chemical Contaminants – these are synthetic and volatile organic chemicals. They are most often the result of industrial processes such as petroleum production, gas stations, or storm water runoff.
  • Pesticides and Herbicides – most often, these will contaminate water through agriculture or storm water runoff.

image353In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the EPA prescribes the regulations that limit the amounts of certain types of contaminants in public water systems. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) sets the contaminant limits in bottled water, although both are required to provide the same protections for public health.

Description of Water Treatment Process

Your water is treated by disinfection. Disinfection involves the addition of chlorine or other disinfectant to kill dangerous bacteria and microorganisms that may be in the water. Disinfection is considered to be one of the major public health advances of the 20th century.

Water Conservation Tips

Did you know that the average U.S. household uses approximately 400 gallons of water per day or 100 gallons per person per day? Luckily, there are many low-cost and no-cost ways to conserve water. Small changes can make a big difference – try one today and soon it will become second nature.

  • Take short showers – a five minute shower uses four to five gallons of water compared to up to 50 gallons for a bath.
  • Shut off water while brushing your teeth, washing your hair, and shaving to save up to 500 gallons per month.
  • Use a water-efficient showerhead. They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and can save you up to 750 gallons a month.
  • Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  • Water plants only when necessary.
  • Fix leaky toilets and faucets. Faucet washers are inexpensive and take only a few minutes to replace. To check your toilet for a leak, place a few drops of food coloring in the tank and wait. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it or replacing it with a new, more efficient model can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  • Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered. Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it and during the cooler parts of the day to reduce evaporation.
  • Teach your kids about water conservation to ensure a future generation that uses water wisely. Make it a family effort to reduce next month’s water bill!
  • Visit for more information.
Source Water Protection Tips

Protection of drinking water is everyone’s responsibility. You can help protect your community’s drinking water source in several ways:

  • Eliminate excess use of lawn and garden fertilizers and pesticides – they contain hazardous chemicals that can reach your drinking water source.
  • Pick up after your pets.
  • If you have your own septic system, properly maintain your system to reduce leaching to water sources or consider connecting to a public waste water system.
  • Dispose of chemicals properly; take used motor oil to a recycling center.
  • Volunteer in your community. Find a watershed or wellhead protection organization in your community and volunteer to help. If there are no active groups, consider starting one. Use EPA’s Adopt Your Watershed to locate groups in your community, or visit the Watershed Information Network’s How to Start a Watershed Team.

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women, and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. Avra Water Co-op, Inc. is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at

Additional Information for Arsenic

While your drinking water meets EPA’s standard for arsenic, it does contain low levels of arsenic. EPA’s standard balances the current understanding of arsenic’s possible health effects against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water. EPA continues to research the health effects of low levels of arsenic which is a mineral known to cause cancer in humans at high concentrations and is linked to other health effects such as skin damage and circulatory problems.

Water Quality Data Table

In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The table below lists all of the drinking water contaminants that we detected during the calendar year of this report. Although many more contaminants were tested, only those substances listed below were found in your water. All sources of drinking water contain some naturally occurring contaminants. At low levels, these substances are generally not harmful in our drinking water. Removing all contaminants would be extremely expensive, and in most cases, would not provide increased protection of public health. A few naturally occurring minerals may actually improve the taste of drinking water and have nutritional value at low levels. Unless otherwise noted, the data presented in this table is from testing done in the calendar year of the report. The EPA or the State requires us to monitor for certain contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of these contaminants do not vary significantly from year to year, or the system is not considered vulnerable to this type of contamination. As such, some of our data, though representative, may be more than one year old. In this table you will find terms and abbreviations that might not be familiar to you. To help you better understand these terms, we have provided the definitions below the table.

Contaminants MCLG or MCL, TT Your Range Sample Violation Typical Source
MRDLG or MRDL Water Low High Date
Disinfectants & Disinfectant By-Products
(There is convincing evident that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants)
TTHMs [Total Trihalomethanes] (ppb) NA 80 0.0016 ND 0.0016 2015 No By-product of drinking water disinfection
Inorganic Contaminants
Arsenic (ppb) 0 10 6.3 6 6.3 2013 No Erosion of natural deposits; Runoff from orchards; Runoff from glass and electronics production wastes
Barium (ppm) 2 2 0.15 0.096 0.15 2013 No Discharge of drilling wastes; Discharge from metal refineries; Erosion of natural deposits
Chromium (ppb) 100 100 1.2 1 1.2 2015 No Discharge from steel and pulp mills; Erosion of natural deposits
Fluoride (ppm) 4 4 0.38 0.34 0.38 2013 No Erosion of natural deposits; Water additive which promotes strong teeth; Discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories
Nitrate [measured as Nitrogen] (ppm) 10 10 1.6 1.5 1.6 2015 No Runoff from fertilizer use; Leaching from septic tanks, sewage; Erosion of natural deposits
Sodium [optional] (ppm) MPL 46 41 46 2013 No Erosion of natural deposits; Leaching
Microbiological Contaminants
Total Coliform (positive samples/month) 0 1 0 NA 2015 No Naturally present in the environment
Radioactive Contaminants
Alpha emitters (pCi/L) 0 15 9.6 4.2 9.6 2013 No Erosion of natural deposits

Contaminants MCLG AL Your Water Sample Date # Samples Exceeding AL Exceeds AL Typical Source
Inorganic Contaminants
Copper – action level at consumer taps (ppm) 1.3 1.3 0.1 2015 0 No Corrosion of household plumbing systems; Erosion of natural deposits
Lead – action level at consumer taps (ppb) 0 15 0.002 2015 0 No Corrosion of household plumbing systems; Erosion of natural deposits

Undetected Contaminants

The following contaminants were monitored for, but not detected, in your water.

Contaminants MCLG
Your Water Violation Typical Source
Haloacetic Acids (HAA5) (ppb) NA 60 ND No By-product of drinking water chlorination

Unregulated Sampling

As part of an on-going evaluation program the EPA has required us to monitor some additional contaminants/chemicals. Information collected through the monitoring of these contaminants/chemicals will help to ensure that future decisions on drinking water standards are based on sound science.
Contaminants Your Water Low High
AWC was chosen by EPA to do unregulated sampling for 2015. The results are following.
Manganese (ppb) 2.28 ND 2.28
Molybdenum (ppb) 4.45 2.98 4.45
Strontium (ppb) 580 452 580
Vanadium (ppb) 10.4 8.87 10.4
Chromium-6 (ppb) 1.23 1.01 1.23
Chlorate (ppb) 93.6 ND 93.6
N-Propylbenze (ppb) .0431 ND .0431

Unit Descriptions

PPM = Parts per Million or Milligrams per liter (mg/L)

PPB = Parts per Billion or Micrograms per liter (ug//L)

PCi/L = Picocuries per Liter (a measure of radioactivity)

Positive Samples/Month = Number of samples taken monthly that were found to be positive.

NA = Not Applicable

ND = Not Detected

NR = Not Required – Monitoring not required, but recommended.

Important Drinking Water Definitions

MCLG = Maximum Contaminant Level Goal – The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level – The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.

TT = Treatment Technique – A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

AL = Action Level – The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.

Variances and Exemptions – State or EPA permission not to meet an MCL or a treatment technique under certain conditions.

MRDLG = Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal – The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

MRDL = Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level – The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

MNR = Monitored Not Regulated

MPL = State Assigned Maximum Permissible Level


For more information please contact:

Cathy Kuefler, Administrative Manager or Jeff Feasel, Operations Manager
11821 W. Picture Rocks Rd.  Tucson, AZ  85743
520-682-7331(P)  520-682-8933(F) or email your questions to:

If you would like a copy of this report mailed to you, please call, stop by, or email the office and we will be happy to get one to you or click here for a downloadable copy (PDF format).